The case for and against selecting Michail Antonio as a differential player

Michail Antonio (£2.7m) is one of those players you simply can’t ignore.

In between injury layoffs – and we’ll get on to that caveat later – the West Ham forward has performed impressively in the last year, scoring goals regularly when tasked with leading the line.

Most recently, he scooped a whopping 21 points from Game Week 17 as the Hammers continued their good form with wins over West Brom and Burnley.

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The 30-year-old’s blossoming form is reminiscent of the electric streak he enjoyed after the hiatus at the end of last season.

A motivated Antonio operating at 100% capacity deserves the consideration of Dream Team gaffers at the very least.

With the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£4.0m), Timo Werner (£4.1m) and Roberto Firmino (£3.0m) failing to provide healthy points in recent weeks for a variety of reasons, plenty of bosses are in the market for a forward in the goals.

And if budget is an issue then few players appear more suitable than the Irons’ No30 – who has scored 14 league goals in the last six months – at £2.7m.

He’s playing for a team in a nice groove too; David Moyes’ side are unbeaten in six games in all competitions and will hope to make it five consecutive wins when they face Doncaster in the FA Cup this weekend.

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So that’s the case for Antonio, what are the concerns?

In short, his fitness record.

The former wing-back has a dynamic style that takes its toll on his bullish frame and he’s been constantly blighted by injury issues in recent seasons.

He was recently sidelined with a hamstring problem – hence why he appears in just 0.6% of teams at the time of writing – and given his history, the fear of a reoccurrence may put off more cautious gaffers.

Additionally, with European football set to return next month, other forwards with busier schedules may be more appealing.

However, back-to-back games against Fulham and Sheffield in early February may encourage some to opt for a short-term ownership of Antonio before reverting to less injury-prone option.

There’s no harm in monitoring his returns over the next couple of Game Weeks at the very least.

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